Growing in the Love of God
The Upper Wylye Valley Team - Church of St John the Evangelist Sutton Veny
The foundation stone of the church of St. John the Evangelist was laid in 1866 and the church was dedicated two years later by the Bishop of Sodor and Man. It is an impressive building in an Early English style by J.L. Pearson, built at the expense of the Everett family as a memorial to Joseph Everett of Greenhill who died in 1865. It is built of Frome stone with Box stone dressings, cruciform in plan with a tower and tall spire over the crossing, large five-light windows to east and west and a rose window in the north transept. Inside are stone rib vaults to the crossing and chancel which are Pearson's trade mark.
The altar was presented to the church at the time of its consecration by the then Bishop of Salisbury, and the reredos was given by the parish. The belfry and ringing chamber in the tower are reached by an outside staircase. The six bells were brought from the old church and in 1927 were re-hung in a metal frame.
In 1918 a corner of the churchyard was set apart as the burial place of the service men, many of them Australians, who had been attached to the military camp and hospital in the parish. Many had died in the influenza epidemic of that year and others were battle casualties. Five Australian nurses are also buried there. The graves have been tended since 1918 by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Each has a rose bush planted by it. Every year, on the Sunday nearest to Anzac Day a memorial service is held in the church. On Anzac Day itself (April 25th) a service is conducted in the churchyard and the village children lay flowers on the graves. In the past this service has been broadcast by the BBC live to Australia and New Zealand.
In 1961 the parishioners felt that a memorial inside the church would be appropriate. After much planning and discussion a faculty was granted in January 1964, enabling the south transept to be transformed into the Anzac Memorial Chapel.
Credit Wiltshire Council
Address and Contact Information:
Church of St John the Evangelist
51 High Street
Churchwardens: Brian Long 01985 840352 and Annabel Elliot 01985 841267